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Roads rendered impassable as rains wreak havoc in Marsabit

Heavy rains in North Horr Constituency have left hundreds of families homeless in the past two weeks.

Hundreds of families have reportedly been rendered homeless in various parts of North Horr Constituency, following heavy rains that have been pounding the area for the past two weeks.

The region has been isolated from the rest of the country due to increased flush floods caused by rains in neighboring Ethiopian highlands, causing the rejuvenation of seasonal rivers.      A county steering group meeting, organised by Pastoralist Community Initiative Development Assistance (PACIDA), urged residents in flood-prone lowlands to relocate to higher ground to prevent loss of lives and property.

Chaired by the County Commissioner, Nobert Komora, the meeting resolved that a comprehensive rapid assessment be conducted to ascertain the extent of damage caused by the floods so far so that interventions can be made in a precise manner.

According to preliminary information received from the Constituency, over three hundred families in about 100 homesteads in Koricha and Dahagabochi areas have been displaced after floods destroyed their dwellings and the property therein.

The Kalacha-North Horr section of the Marsabit-North Horr highway is currently inaccessible after several seasonal rivers served by drift bridges sprung up.

The scenario has left the region without supply of essential commodities, leading to an all-out hike in prices, especially food items.

A kilogramme of sugar is going for Sh 300, up from Sh 100, while a piece of available cabbage is selling at an equal price of Sh 300, up from Sh 60.

Persistent rainstorms have destroyed two ECED centres, downed six power poles in North Horr town, and made roads including Gas and Dukana impassable.

The CSG asked the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) to move with speed and have the damaged parts of the road repaired without further delay so that transportation could resume and avert suffering.

“The damage could be much bigger, as unconfirmed reports indicate that small stocks such as sheep and goats have been swept away by the deluge,” said the area Member of the County Assembly (MCA), Tura Elema.

The southern part of the county has also been adversely affected by floods, which have destroyed the road network, cutting off areas such as Sarai, Irrir and Martidorop.

Other areas reported to be out of reach after roads became impassable are Mpagas, Ngurunit and Illaut, with calls for humanitarian assistance from the government and well-wishers.

Consequently, Mr Komora announced an emergency aid dispatch from the National Government to the affected families consisting of 200 bags of rice and 100 bags of beans.

The County Commissioner said the assistance will be delivered by all possible means as the CSG awaits a report on the actual situation on the ground on Tuesday for proper intervention, adding that Kenya Power Company technicians have been deployed to North Horr town to work on the fallen poles and restore electricity supply.

At the same time, the Marsabit County government also said it was releasing 300 bags of rice and 20 cartons of cooking oil as a mobilisation of resources to help the displaced.

Meanwhile, in Moyale Sub-county, a water pumping machine at Bori borehole in Bori location has been washed away following a heavy downpour that pounded the area overnight.

By Sebastian Miriti

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